The ability to have access to your physician wherever you are or whenever you want is an impossibility. Being able to check out every cough, runny nose or ache is not going to be possible unless healthcare becomes completely automated, but with the ability to monitor existing medical conditions becoming easier due to improved technology it is possible to improve patient care.
Mobile healthcare is at the forefront of this. As the prevalence of smartphones in society increases, it becomes possible for people to measure, analyse and communicate their medical data through a device that they always carry with them.
So what is mobile healthcare and what are the benefits of it?
Mobile healthcare is essentially the ability the transmit medical data through a mobile device. This could then be sent directly to a practitioner to assess the information or it could be sent to an automated system that measures the results and flags up any changes in state that could have a negative effect on people’s health.
It does not always have to be direct contact with a physician or system too. We have seen with the collaboration of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Intel that simply collecting significant amounts of data about a group suffering from a particular disease can be used to help with future treatments. Having the ability to collect large amounts of clinical data in this way, from situations where monitoring would not normally be possible, could have huge impacts on future treatment.
Equally, with sensors it is possible to monitor the condition of particular patients in order to maximize their treatment and allow for potentially life-threatening changes to be flagged up and prevented in future.
We are currently seeing a big change in the way that healthcare could be given and monitored. At the moment we do not have the ability to treat through this means and it is unlikely to be a possibility in the foreseeable future. However, this ability to monitor people’s condition and make treatment choices based on this is making a huge leap forward in how this could potentially be done.